Sunday, March 12, 2006

Brokers

As I have mentioned before I just purchased my first shares of stock not to long ago, 2/16 to be exact.

Anyway, as a new investor I read about keeping costs down. So I went with what I felt was the best deal for me which was foliofn.com

Now the good thing about folio is that it only charges $4 to buy/sell a stock and also they let you buy partial shares. For someone who is just starting out with a smaller account and not much experiance being able to buy partial shares is great because if you are investing say 1,000 over ten different stocks you can weight them 10% each to avoid overexposure (ia mnot saying you should diversify, just that unti a new investor can come up with a good reaosn to buy more of one and less of others than equal balance of your shares may be the best).

The way foliofn works is that they take your order and fill it at 11 and 2 EST with all other orders for the stock, thats how they can give you paritial shares. They call it a window trade. But you can read more about it on the website and if you have any quesitons just let me know.

Now the thing i dont like about foliofn is that not every stock is avaliable for the $4 window trade, so if you want some obsucre stock or one not listed on the major boards you have to pay $14.95 for a market order.

But if you are just starting out they cover just about every stock you might want to buy for $4.

another thing though is that foliofn does not allow shorting or options, but again if you are just starting out that may not be the best thing for us anyway.

But two other low cost brokers I have found are firsttrade.com and tradeking.com, they both trade obscure stocks and options.

Firsttrade charges $6.95 for a market order and tradeking charges $4.95

They essentially seem to offer about the same service except for two differences.

Firsttrade does not charge any fee for a purchase of a no-load mutual fund. Tradeking charges $14.95.

But Tradeking looks like it has the better use of charts and research.

So if you have mutual funds or are plan on buying some Fristtrrade might work for you, but if not Tradeking is lower cost.

For me I plan on opening an account at Tradeking to see how I like and compare it to Foliofn, since I don't plan on buying mutual funds.

I encourage you to check them out and form your own opinion.

I do think Foliofn does offer the lowest trade cost $4 for those who want to trade most common stock and want to keep thier portfoilo evenly weighted by percent.

But if youthink that you might trade options or need to buy less well known securities than Tradeking offers a good alternative at $4.95 for a common stock trade.

Once I have a month or two with tradeking I wll let you know how it is going.

Please note my next post will be on some mistakes I have made in the few months I have been investing. I think sharing those with you will be as, if not more, important than talking about the good choices I have made. I actually have been workign up the nerve for this topic because i dont think anyone likes talkign about making stupid decisions.

More later

Steven

6 comments:

Ryan said...

How is tradeking working for you. I have a foliofn account and really think tradeking looks great. I've been looking for reviews and only found 1 and it was negative. Please let me know what you think of all its features and customer service and anything you can think of.

Steven said...

I have not funded a tradeking account yet. Plan do to so in the future. Will let you know when I do and how I like it.

Anonymous said...

I trade quite a bit every week so foliofn's bronze account (200 trades/month for $200/yr) makes a lot of sense for me. If I went with TK or any other "per trade" brokerage, I think my costs would be >>10% my investment! I follow northstar strategic's picks and they seem to stick to foliofn's window trades. I really like foliofn's performance analysis tools, but their research tools could be better. The cool thing is that I opened a watch account (free) and was able to play around before buying.

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QUALITY STOCKS UNDER 5 DOLLARS said...

Shaebuilder is the cheapest broker out their.

Anonymous said...

FirstTrade is joke. Good luck trying to get your money out. Do yourself a favor and stay away. I have an account with TradeKing and so far not a glitch. Customer service solve all my issues on the spot. Customer service with FirstTrade is a daily back and forth for simple requests.